Manchester United fell to a 3-1 defeat away from home as they failed to make it into the semi finals of the competition to be held at Wembley Stadium. United now only have the UEFA Europa League to play for as a realistic trophy this season.
The Red Devils started the game slowly and on the back foot as Leicester City came at them in heaves applying constant pressure from the start. In the early stages Jamie Vardy tried to find Kelechi Iheanacho in the six-yard box, but his cross was blocked in the process, with the rebound coming straight back at him as he fired a low strike towards goal, Dean Henderson on hand to make a good save.
It was Iheanacho himself striking first blood in the contest as he fired Leicester into the lead. United tried to play out from the back, with Harry Maguire playing in Fred on the edge of the box, but it would be his mistake, as he was put quickly under pressure, which would lead to the opening goal. His pass back to Henderson poor as Iheanacho was there to pounce going round Henderson to pass the ball into the back of the net from just a few yards out.
United did hit back on the 38th minute, Mason Greenwood equalising after the Red Devils first real attack of the game opened up the Foxes at the back. Paul Pogba instrumental to the goal as he burst away on the left hand side squaring the ball into the path of Greenwood who slid in the finish into the back of the net at ease. But it wasn't to be United's day as Leicester were lethal in the second phase taking the lead in the 52nd minute with Youri Tielemans playing a one-two with Iheanacho around Nemanja Matic, sprinting into he final third and finding the bottom left hand corner, no bodies getting close enough to the midfielder.
Vardy should have made it three soon after skipping past Maguire but only to drill his effort inches wide of Henderson's near post. In the end Iheanacho was to take the headlines registering his second of the game late on, Mark Albrighton assisting whipping in a superb free kick into the penalty area as Iheanacho headed on getting the better of Scott McTominay. Man United were second best all game and were punished by a clinical Leicester side who had a spring in their step, wanting it more over the 90 minutes.
The match was not the greatest from a United point of view, the Red Devils very conservative, but Leicester very fruitful in their play all over the pitch. Man United had 11 shots on goal during the game compared to Leicester nine, with five shots on target to the Foxes five. The possession count for the Red Devils was much higher with a 52% to 48% ratio at the King Power Stadium. The total pass count for the Red Devils was a big 517 to Leicester's 493. The Manchester side also had the better passing accuracy of 85% to the host's 84%.
Solskjaer admitted his team lacked a spark with Palace making it very difficult over the 90 minutes from the back to the front
United now have Brighton in their sights after the international break.
"We didn't have the spark tonight, but its understandable. This team have been fantastic in the last three or four months. We played every three days and been on a great run. It just caught up with us, all the game and travels. Thursday night in Milan was a big night and took a lot out of us physically. We didn't have the extra zip, authority and confidence today. We tried to get on the front foot and start well because sometimes you can get that adrenaline boost and confidence if you get a goal and that can carry you over the line."
"We've got too many players that have played too many games and too many that haven't really had much football, Anthony Martial, Donny Van De Beek, Paul Pogba and others are trying to get in who haven't had enough football. I would've done the same again, the changes were necessary to do. We knew Paul Pogba wouldn't last more than an hour and I don't think I would do anything differently. What goes on behind the scenes isn't always known. We want to build from the back and want the players to be confident, sometimes it doesn't work and that's one time it didn't.